A small elite unit was sent out to represent the MRMC team, to conquer The Commando Series – a grueling 12km obstacle course that includes replicas of the Royal Marines Endurance, Assault and Tarzan courses.
The team, inventively codenamed ‘MRMC’, included Laddi, Rob, Mark, Billy, Lidia and Sam – a crack squad of freakishly fit MRMC operatives.
The course contains 36 of the toughest obstacles straight out of the Commando test book; this is the only event that can recreate the mud, sweat and pain of modern day Royal Marines commando training. Money raised from the race helps support The Royal Marines Charity.
Lidia commented after the race:
“It was a fantastic team building adventure and I really enjoyed every moment of it – even the freezing cold water! Looking forward to doing it again next year. I want to thank my company for sponsoring us, and the team for taking part”
See their adventure below!
THE TEAM READY TO RACE!
THEY GET UNDERWAY!
TACKLING THE OBSTACLES
NEARING THE END!
VICTORY FOR THE WHOLE TEAM!
Rise of the Underwater Robotic Camera System
This year's Games have seen the exponential rise of robotic cameras and the crucial part they now play in capturing magical live action moments! Advances in technology have provided a platform for automated robotic photography, which, in a nutshell, means cameras can be placed and controlled in virtually any environment or location on the planet.
In the underwater world these remotely controlled robotic cameras can capture moments previously unseen. From synchronised swimming, high diving and everything in between – there’s plenty of excitement to be photographed in the aquatic sporting arena. Previously, much of the action was lost underwater; with dives, twists, turns and plenty of kicking legs, some of the most captivating moments were never caught on camera – until now.
MRMC Robotics Help Photographers Capture the Action
Mark Roberts Motion Control supplied multiple robotic underwater heads to help capture these lost moments. Remotely controlled from a master server and client, photographers have full control of pan, tilt, roll, zoom and focus – along with the cameras aperture, exposure and a number of other settings. Photos are transferred over FTP straight from the camera, which gives you the ability to have the photos immediately viewable from anywhere around world.
The ability to be in a live action environment catching incredible unseen stills footage will be a must for any sports photographer or agency. Together with the MHC client software, photographers now have the ability to control multiple, moving cameras. Advances in IP technology means a photographer can control these robotic heads remotely, from any location in the world.
For more information on our underwater heads email us at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also see a demo video clip of the robotic camera heads below.
What we are showcasing at Broadcast Asia!
This year we will be demonstrating a combination of our Aimtrack technology along with our AFC pan-tilt head. This combination of tech gives a full proof solution for any studio or live environment, allowing real-time tracking of any person, object or anything you wish to track.
Our AimTrack technology is specifically designed for location and studio presenter tracking. The system consists of a high-speed precision pan tilt head, with an advanced image processing system and a touchscreen interface. The unit is very portable and can be set up at any studio or location quickly.
AIMTRACK KEY FEATURES
- Easy touchscreen interface selection of what the point of interest is
- Can track anything – an object, an animal, a person, a face, a microphone etc.
- Compact, portable system for use in any location or studio
- Adjusts the view of the robotic camera to keep the item of interest on screen
- Works with any camera, video, HD, broadcast, film (using video assist)
- Save on personnel costs, including reduced travel costs and insurance in dangerous environments
- Position of head or tracked object can be output via serial or UDP/Ethernet, for integration with Virtual Studio or Augmented Reality
- Camera zoom can be automatically adjusted as the tracked person moves closer or further from the camera
BROADCAST ROBOTIC PAN-TILT HEAD
The AFC (Accurate, Fast & Compact) Head is a perfect choice for broadcast robotics. With a small footprint and high payload capacity, the AFC is ideal for getting close to the action without compromising picture quality.
The art of fluid motion is perfectly realised through the very latest in precision motors and high-resolution gearing, together with control interfaces carefully designed to maximise the operator’s creative direction.
The AFC’s IP-based architecture brings a wide range of benefits to today’s broadcast workflows. Whether extending operator control, target tracking or integrating with augmented reality graphics, the AFC fits seamlessly into networked production environments.
AFC HEAD KEY FEATURES
- Accurate, fast and compact.
- 360° unrestricted panning with high bandwidth 3G HD video slip-ring options.
- Available in quiet and high-speed variants.
- Networkable and easily scalable for multi-camera operation.
- Ethernet control of head and lens motions.
- Integrated control of all lens types.
- External fibre interfaces for extended operating distances available.
- Control options include Joystick, Pan Bars, and Software (API available).
- Options for track rail and lift.
- Suitable for virtual studios and augmented reality.
Brain Candy Films were tasked by creative agency Tinker Taylor to create an epic film for the police to be shown in cinemas nationwide. The filmmakers decided to put the viewer right in the heart of the action, giving them a first hand insight into the demanding and diverse role of modern-day policing. They wanted to give the audience a unique view into the extraordinary job that police officers do and they chose a rather extraordinary way to do it.
The film shows four frozen moments in time. Each moment is seen as a single, continuous shot that allows the viewer to take in every glorious detail, taking you on a journey through a singular, explosive moment. This approach allowed the filmmakers to put the viewer right in the middle of the action, highlighting the cohesive efforts of the police and all the officers involved at one crucial moment in time. They achieved this effect with the help of motion control
Motion control was used in three of the scenes to move through the frozen action in a smooth, fluid path, making it possible to drip feed information to the viewer and allowing each scene to slowly unravel until the big picture comes into focus. The films use cinematic visuals to grab the audience’s attention but they feel grounded in realism with meticulous production design. Everything from the props, to the costumes and the lighting gives the feeling that you’re witnessing a real moment in time. Careful and precise art-direction and seamless CGI effects give complete authenticity to the scenes.
One of Brain Candy’s main aims with the film was to capture a much in camera as possible and rely on CGI as little as possible. The level of precision that motion control provides meant that they could fill the frame with real details and just use CGI to supplement what was already there, with a few exceptions! CGI was superbly handled by Manchester based Flipbook Studios and the fact that they were able to do multiple passes meant that they had clean plates, which dramatically reduced the VFX workload.
Three of the four scenes were shot on Alexa using motion control rigs supplied by Mark Roberts Motion Control, with the fourth scene being shot on steadicam with the RED Dragon. Cinematographer James Stoneley chose to use a combination of the Talos and Titan motion control rigs on the shoot, as each of the scenes had its own unique challenges. The reason the filmmakers chose to use motion control is that it allowed the camera to follow a perfectly orchestrated, pre-determined path through the action. They were able to cover huge areas, change camera level & repeat the move perfectly – making tweaks every pass until happy.
The mighty Titan was used in two of the four scenes, the Raid and the Riot, where the filmmakers needed the full 9 metre extension to cover a lot of ground. The Titan is unrivalled in its size and this made it possible to convey a sense of scale in the scenarios that was imperative to create the sense of a cohesive effort between the police and the community. For example, in the Raid scene the camera booms out of the back of a van, passes along a street, around a corner, down an alleyway and up passed a team of armed police officers on a fire escape, before descending back to ground level to land on a person being arrested. All in one shot. There is simply no other tool that would have been able to achieve this.
James Stoneley, cinematographer and Creative Director at Brain Candy Films, commented on a particularly tricky scene:
"I have worked with the Talos before so it was an obvious choice for the House scene. The scene was shot on set but space was still a consideration because of how we chose to film it. In order to make it feel like we’re really stuck in the corridor with the officers in the midst of the commotion, we wanted the camera to physically be inside the walls of the set and we also wanted to be able to look back at the end of the scene and see the corridor walls. This meant building a set with a “floating” wall that could be swung in and out of the set, allowing the Talos and camera to pass through the corridor where the wall ends up. This took some careful choreography from our stage hands!"
The four individual films are playing in cinemas across the country in over 800 feature presentations.
Brain Candy’s website – braincandyfilms.com
We have recently created a series of straightforward quick start guides for numerous MRMC robotic systems. These technical equipment manuals are in the form of short illustrative booklets that will take you from ‘straight out of the box’ to ‘up and running’ in no time!
Bolt Quick Start Guide – download here
Talos Quick Start Guide – download here
SFH-30 Quick Start Guide – download here
SFH-50 Quick Start Guide – download here
AFC Quick Start Guide – download here
Monorail Quick Start Guide – download here
Joystick Controller Quick Start Guide – download here
MSA-20 Handwheels Quick Start Guide – download here
Mini MSA Quick Start Guide – download here
LFP Quick Start Guide – download here
Trigger Box Quick Start Guide – download here
Precision Track Quick Start Guide – download here
FLAIR Quick Start Guide – download here
MRMC warmly welcomes Dan Brown, our new VP of Sales & Marketing for the USA. Heading up our US office, Dan will further expand our reach into both existing and new fields of broadcast, product photography and other areas of motion control robotics. Smartly located in the Cincinnati area, the US office will provide a centralized hub to meet the needs of both east and west coast markets.
Dan has an extensive background in management consulting – specializing in sales and marketing. In 1992 he joined a prestigious California-based consulting group, beginning a consulting career that focused on management, administration, executive training, PR and sales. Since that time, Dan has traveled to over 20 countries and delivered training and workshops to over 5,000 people on these subjects.
Dan has been applying his craft for nearly 25 years and has worked with a multitude of organisations to help build their image, brand and sales within their respective industries.
With the company’s rapid expansion and growing demand for a US presence, MRMC asked Dan to come on board and help expand its presence across the US markets.
Dan Brown comments on joining the team:
“I’d heard of Mark Roberts Motion Control for quite some time, and their reputation as industry leaders, but it wasn’t until I found out a little more, that I realized the huge potential this company has with breaking into US markets. With decades of US market experience, I saw immediate potential for growth through additional channels and sales here in the US.
I am also a keen photographer and experienced videographer, so the products and industry were close to my heart, and I jumped at the opportunity to get involved!”
Dan would love to hear from you, and if you want to connect with him on Linkedin, or find out more about his past experiences and groups he has worked with, click here. You can also email him directly at email@example.com or reach him on: 805-418-0463
Our latest behind the scenes video is an urban sports video short, showcasing the Bolt on track. Shooting both street basketball & football using Love High Speed's Phantom 4K Flex, the film directed by Nick Sawyer demonstrates the versatility and creative potential of the Bolt on Track.
There were two shoots, one for Basketball and one for Football. Nick Sawyer, a seasoned director, wanted to challenge the Bolt on Track. Each shoot was designed to provide a unique challenge and test the Bolt's capabilities for speed, movement and to precisely catch specific moments. The Bolt running on track aced these challenges, and you can see some of the behind the scenes photos below, along with the full behind the scenes video.
Stills from the Basketball
Stills from the Football
Watch the full behind the scenes video below:
SFH-30: The Creative’s Mini-Head
The SFH-30 pan tilt head has been designed to provide precision, accuracy
and versatility not found in similar sized heads, making it suitable
for a wide range of applications including live action, events, sports
broadcasting, stop-frame animation and time-lapse photography.
click here to view the new flier. SFH-30_handout_LR
The RED Epic on the SFH-30 pan tilt head
The highly anticipated release of the RED Epic has begun rolling out with production versions now quickly making their way on to film sets and motion control rigs. We gave a new Epic, supplied by RED Europe based at Pinewood Studios, a test with one of the smallest of our products, the SFH-30 head.
It was like the head was designed with the Epic in mind. As you can see from the photo our SFH-30 pan tilt head fits the camera perfectly, right on the optical axis. With the SFH-30 weighing only 5kg combined with the Epic this is a very light weight package that can produce some amazing remote head and motion control shots.
The big question asked by operators is: “Can we sync to the RED Epic for motion control?” From our initial tests it seems everything hardware related is there and almost fully functioning for using the Epic for live-action, stop-frame, time-lapse, high-speed and even speed ramping. A few eagerly anticipated firmware adjustments by RED and the camera will interface perfectly to motion control for any type of special effect, something very few digital cameras have managed so far.
MRMC at Cine Gear Expo, Los Angeles
|3-4 June 2011,
|MRMC will be exhibiting again this year at Cine Gear, Paramount Pictures Studio Lot.
On display and available for demo will be some of our smaller rigs, the Ulti-Head and
Follow the link above to register for free before the 28th of May.
Everyone is welcome to visit. We look forward to seeing you there.